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Sermon Summary. In this gospel narrative, we learn a lot. We learn of Christ’s compassion for children and our need for a childlike heart in how we approach God. We see, in the disciples, how even a well-intended church can treat people the wrong way when they reject children and their parents. And we see how Jesus holds the disciples/the church accountable to treat others with love and to correct wrong understandings. Finally, we see Christ do what he came for – he loves and blesses. Where are the lessons for us?
Bring the Babies/Lost Sheep to Christ/the Church. This a moment of great excitement. The word and work of Christ has spread. So much so that people are bringing their little ones just to get a touch from Jesus’ hand. It appears that wonderful ministry is going forth in the text.
Response of the Disciples/Church. We would expect excitement. People are coming to church . . . to Christ. But the response of the disciples/church is shocking. They “go all in.” They don’t just hesitate but they actually rebuke the parents, adults and these children who are trying to get to the Lord. What’s going on?
Jesus is Indignant. It is particularly powerful to see Christ’s emotion as a result of the disciples/the church treatment of that which he loves. Jesus loves his children. Whenever we find ourselves acting like these disciples and getting in the way . . . we should be very careful.
Jesus Blesses the Least of These. Jesus is always a man of action. He preaches, he rebukes, he corrects. But, he is also a man of love. He does not lose focus on those who have come to be with him. He addresses the disciples, corrects them and educates them. And, then he gets to those who have come with a need.